Hundreds of homes flattened in China quake

March 04, 2013 - 1:04:08 am
BEIJING: A shallow 5.5-magnitude earthquake hit southwest China yesterday, causing 700 homes to collapse and leaving 20 people injured, state media said. The quake struck a rural area in the southwestern province of Yunnan last afternoon, damaging a further 2,500 houses, but there were no reported fatalities, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.
The quake’s epicentre was just 9km beneath the surface, Xinhua said. Southwest China is prone to earthquakes, with twin quakes in Yunnan last September triggering landslides which killed at least 80 people. The local earthquake bureau has dispatched a team to the area, Xinhua said. 
Six people die as blizzards hit Japan  
TOKYO: At least six people died in a spate of snow-related incidents as blizzards swept across the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over the weekend, police and news reports said yesterday.
A 40-year-old woman and her three teenaged children were found dead late on Saturday in a car buried under snow in the town of Nakashibetsu, eastern Hokkaido, a local police spokesman said. They are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning as the car’s exhaust pipe and was blocked by snow and the windows were up, Kyodo News said, adding that snowfalls of more than two metres (6.6 feet) were recorded in the area. A 23-year-old woman who went missing in the same town was found dead yesterday in snow some 300 metres away from her car, Jiji Press news agency said.
Sri Lanka arrests 16 Indian fishermen 
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s navy said yesterday it had detained 16 Indian fishermen on a charge of poaching, as tensions rose between India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu and the Colombo government.
The fishermen in three trawlers were arrested on Saturday night inside Sri Lankan waters off the west coast and handed over to local police for further investigation, a navy spokesman said.
“We had information that they were poaching in that area in the past three days and we sent additional patrol craft to arrest them,” spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said.